Dr A K Shrivastava
Posted in August 2009
The recent report of WHO, the supreme health body condemning homeopaths from prescribing in cases of HIV, TB, & Malaria is a major setback to the position of homeopathy. In its report the officials claimed that there are not sufficient results to confirm the efficacy of Homeopathy in these life threatening illnesses. They also warned health workers and government against promotion of homeopathy in place of proven treatment. “Homeopathy does not protect people from or treat these diseases”.
Such reports and that too from WHO again brings Homeopaths to the witness stand. This news comes closely following recent attack of Health bodies against the promotion of Homeopathy. First it was the UK Parliamentary Report about complementary and alternative medicine of year 2000 and then the Aijing Shang and colleagues’ meta analysis of 110 placebo controlled trials of Aug 2005 and now the WHO declaration.
Who is behind?
The Voice of young Science Network, which is a part of the charity Sense About Science is the body behind this uproar clearly states that , “We hope that by raising awareness of the WHO’s position on homeopathy we will be supporting those people who are taking a stand against these potentially disastrous practices.”
We should not forget that earlier in 2003-2004 WHO had issued a draft on homeopathy, entitled ‘Homeopathy: review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials’ claimed that the “majority” of peer – reviewed scientific papers published over the past 40 years “have demonstrated that homeopathy is superior to placebo in placebo-controlled trials and is equivalent to conventional medicines in the treatment of illnesses, in both humans and animals”. In response to which WHO was accused of being infiltrated by missionaries for alternative medicine by the conventional medics (allopaths).
This undoubtedly shows the planned strategy against the growing popularity of Homeopathy.
It is too irresponsible on the part of WHO to publish such a report without even considering the benefits of Homeopathy. WHO seems to have made no attempts at all to check the truth behind the claims of Voice of young Science Network or to assess the treatment policies or the results Homeopaths are giving in treating patients with a wide range of conditions.
How could such a supreme body as WHO overlook the success reports and projects of homeopathy and let it be guided by a single letter from Voice of young Science Network?
Large number of body of evidences have been found supporting the effectiveness of homeopathy which is strange as it seems being overlooked by WHO authorities. To enlisting some of these:
- A recent high quality trial by the prestigious, WHO qualified facility, the Finlay Institute in Cuba, involving two and a half million people, found homoeopathy to be extremely effective in the prevention of Leptospirosis (Dr. Concepción Campa Huergo report to Finlay Institute ‘Nosodes 2008 conference’ December 2008, to be published).
- A trial conducted by Quebec homoeopathy organization in partnership with McGill University in Honduras found homoeopathy effective in preventing and treating parasitic Chagas disease (Martine Jourde report to Finlay Institute ‘Nosode 2008 conference’ December 2008).
- A pilot study in Ghana showing homoeopathic treatment equal to and slightly more effective than chloroquine in the treatment of acute malaria (Br Homoeopath J 1996 Apr;85(2):66-70).
- The Stanford study treating tuberculosis in HIV patients resulted in significant improvement in patients receiving homeopathic immunotherapy (Stanford, Comm Br Hom Res Grp Dec 1992 22 30-9).
Furthermore, the WHO authorities have ignored the rich and well documented history of homoeopathy’s success in treating major worldwide epidemics of cholera, influenza (including the 1918 epidemic), yellow fever and many other serious epidemics.
Homeopathy as a system of therapeutics has fast emerged as a medicine of the masses and is progressing towards a better future. We have given miraculous results and provided challenging cures in the developing countries in spite of low funding by research organisaions. As we know success is often met with profound criticism. So this controversy and commotion was expected.
The same view was expressed by Dr Ross of society of homeopathy when she aptly answered that “it is just another poorly wrapped attempt to discredit homeopathy by sense about the science”.
Time to ponder
The other side of the picture is that it is a time to Introspect. Other than being a political gimmick have we ever given it a thought that why are we facing such accusations and that too on a regular basis?
Their claim is that we have no objective results to prove that homeopathy is of any benefit in these diseases. Today it is about HIV, Malaria & T.B., tomorrow the list will be lengthen and resultant effect – We will be limited to mere cold, cough, sneezing and bodyaches.
Is this our dream? Have we toiled the prime years of our life to treat these mild illnesses. The answer is a mighty NO. this is not just about the diseases we cure this is about limiting our Horizons, it is about clipping our wings. It is not just about us – It is about the status of homeopathy.
So what we can do??
First of all we should unite and stand against these continuous assaults. The longer they continue they will affect our reputation and eventually us. Those of us who still believe that by keeping mum the cloud will pass should better go through the report of falling homeopathic practice in UK http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7523302.stm
So there is a need of forgetting mutual clashes and standing up for the higher cause. This is not about shouting or rallying, it is about giving them the answer in black and white for ACTION SPEAKS BETTER THAN WORDS.
So instead of condemning and cross accusations we should give them a befitting reply. They ask for effective results and we will provide them the same.
Some noteworthy measures needed are
1. All Homeopaths should attain knowledge about the modern research protocol, methodology, diagnostic tools, follow-up criteria and disease management. This will help us to be at par with the current medical research practices.
2. Homeopaths should undertake disease oriented research on modern research protocol and prepare proper documentation of the same.
3. We should get all authentic research works published in reputed scientific/ medical journals and news letters. This testifies our projects and work.
4. Moreover instead of proclaiming our superiority we should give the results.
In the ongoing H1N1 flu outburst, some of us claimed that homeopathic medicines can prevent as well as treat H1N1 (Swine Flu). The question is how many of us have proven authentic clinical data of the same which we can share with the world. It is not about hypothesis’ it is about someone’s life. Such tall talks on our part should be avoided; unless and until we prove a theory we should not claim it. It may seem flashy but what if a person dies under homeopathic treatment? What then? Homeopathy would have to suffer for your deeds. These faulty claims denigrate the status of homeopathy. So instead of claims publish the report. This would not only advertise your efficiency but also bring stars to homeopathy.
5. And the most important of all, unite all lovers and supporters of homeopathy and organize camps and seminars for the promotion of homeopathy. It is the public support which the want to deprive us from and the same we have increase.
Rise and stands before it is too late
Dear friends, it is the time for all of us to accept the gravity of situation and take appropriate measures. It is time for all of us to stand in support of the system we believe in- Homeopathy. It is time to work together to remove the blemishes from the face of homeopathy and outshine all criticism.
I do accept that with our dedicated efforts and united endeavors not only will answer all accusations but also take homeopathy to the heights it deserves.
“Homeopathy, like the candle-stick of the Hebrew tabernacle, has been shaped by hammering, not by casting.“
So the story continues…….. .
Dr A K Shrivastava, MD(Hom), BHMS Gold Medalist
Email : [email protected]